Nation, State, and Citizenship

Nov 1, 2014, 3:55
At CPAC 2014, Ann Coulter (left) called for nativist death squads, while white nationalist Robert Vandervoort (right) was allowed to bring his nativist English-only outfit back to the conference.

The Unbearable Whiteness of CPAC

03.21.2014

For years, white nationalists found themselves on the outside looking in, faces pressed against the glass to get a glimpse at the movement happenings at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the times they are a changing. Not since Pat Buchanan’s racially-tinged insurgent campaign at the 1992 conference have white nationalists found a more hospitable environment in the halls of CPAC.

With the rise of the Tea Party, the doors to CPAC flew open wide in 2010. The same year that CPAC gave the “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement, the far-right John Birch Society, a group kept outside for decades, was allowed to co-sponsor the event for the first time. Others on the far-right were welcomed into the fold, and racist rhetoric about president Obama was allowed center stage. Just like that, CPAC became a white nationalist friendly zone.

Despite a more tightly controlled platform this year, the annual conservative confab did little to disabuse white nationalists of the notion that they were at home, particularly when leaders expressed racially-charged rhetoric and calls for nativist “death squads” were met with raucous cheers from the floor.

A  Brief History of Nativism: Part Three

A Brief History of Nativism: Part Three

01.24.2014
This is the third installment in a special seven-part series "A Brief History of Nativism: Anti-Immigrant Bigotry in the American Past", providing an overview of these major movements, as well as the accompanying shifts in American immigration policy and their consequences. The first installment, "Colonial Dreams and Independent Reactions" is available here. The Second installment, "Knowing Nothing in Antebellum America" is available here.

A banner of the Know Nothings.

A Brief History of Nativism: Part Two

10.10.2013

This is the second installment in a special seven-part series "A Brief History of Nativism: Anti-Immigrant Bigotry in the American Past", providing an overview of these major movements, as well as the accompanying shifts in American immigration policy and their consequences. The first installment,  "Colonial Dreams and Independent Reactions" is available here.

A Brief History of Nativism 

Part II: Knowing Nothing in Antebellum America

When the first United States Congress met at Federal Hall in New York City (pictured above)  the second piece of legislation passed in the second session codified racial discrimination into immigration policy

A Brief History of Nativism: Part One

10.09.2013

A Brief History of Nativism: Anti-Immigrant Bigotry in the American Past

Often thought of as a nation of immigrants, at times the United States has also been a nation of nativists. Nativism, the fear of and hostility toward immigrants or other perceived "aliens," has been a mainstay of the American political landscape, even if xenophobic agitating has at times receded. At times, the U.S has been a refuge for the "homeless, tempest-tost." At other times, Americans have lashed out against newcomers, and made them the victims of mob violence, discriminatory legislation, and populist demagoguery. Both inclusiveness and nativism date to the founding of the country.

Air War: The Anti-Immigrant Establishment’s Battle Plan

Air War: The Anti-Immigrant Establishment’s Battle Plan

10.01.2013

Conventional wisdom suggests there are two distinct elements of modern campaigns: the “ground game,” the ability of campaigns to organize and mobilize supporters to get out and engage in the fight; and the “air war,” the money poured into advertising and other passive means of persuading voters to support a campaign. Finding the elusive balance between the two is said to be the key to winning.

In this latest round in battle over comprehensive immigration reform, the anti-immigrant establishment has largely conceded the ground game. One reason: their base of support evaporated.

Residents of Watertown, Mass. on the streets after arrest of the second suspect.

The Boston Marathon Bombing: A Personal Statement

04.23.2013

The senseless murder and mayhem in Boston has left me speechless.  Initially, I refused to speculate about who did it, despite repeated requests to do so.  I pointed to the wildly mistaken guesses about the Texas murders, when people who should have known better talked as if the Aryan Brotherhood were the perpetrators, sure thing.  It turned out to be anything but.  In this case, as a friend wrote me, “Chechens, who knew?” I certainly did not.